Covering the Gulf Oil Spill
A day spent in the Louisiana wetlands.
Today, I'm in Cocodrie, Lousiana, a fishing community in the wetlands south of New Orleans. We are on a dock waiting for a boat that will take us on a tour of the area. The tour is being given by the U.S. Coast Guard. Because of rain storms, we may have to wait until tomorrow for the tour.
I want to describe this place to you. Right now it is pouring down rain. I just interviewed three journalists—two from San Francisco, California, one from a national radio service in Washington, D.C. Two dolphin were just jumping in the channel behind us. A couple of orange kittens are asleep under one of the Airboat trailers. I also spotted a crab scurrying by the kittens.
The channel I'm standing next to leads to a wider and deeper ship channel which leads to the Gulf of Mexico,two miles out. Between this dock and the Gulf I can see the dolphin, herons, tall grasses, a single long yellow boom, and an oil refinery. From where I sit on a wooden porch swing, I can see a tall pipe topped with a flame—much like a candle on a birthday cake—just across the channel at the refinery. It is burning off excess natural gas I am told.
While waiting for the storms to pass, I also talked to some of the people who work around here. Three of them are airboat captains.
Airboats are shallow metal boats with giant fans on the back. They can skim across the grass and shallow waters that other boats have to go around. Working from an airboat you can do in a few hours what some boats take days to do.
The captains and their crews look for wildlife in distress. They alert wildlife experts who come and rescue the animals. They also look for any signs of oil where it shouldn't be so they can tell the coastguard and protective booms can be set up.
So, far, where we are in Louisiana, there has not been much sign of oil. Most of the damage has been around Grand Isles, a few hours further east of here.
I will be here for the rest of the week sending in posts. Check back later for more!
—Kid Reporter Trinity Vogel
PHOTO: Check back for a Kid Reporter Trinity Vogel's video interview with three journalists covering the Gulf Oil Spill. Two are from San Francisco and one from Wasington, D.C. She met up with the reporters in Cocodrie, Louisiana, Tuesday, August 3, 2010. (Photo Courtesy Trinity Vogel)